Women’s History Month Observances at State Museums and Attractions

RALEIGH

The far-reaching and impactful accomplishments and contributions of women often have been often overlooked in North Carolina and the nation. During Women’s History Month in March agencies within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources will highlight some of the significant achievements of North Carolina Women through virtual programs and in-person exhibits.

East

March 5. Historic Halifax. Harriett Tubman Statue Tour. Exhibit of a Harriet Tubman statue, a 9-foot-tall tribute celebrating the life of the legendary freedom seeker who led scores of bondsmen out of slavery to freedom and also served as a Union spy and nurse. View the virtual unveiling on the site's Facebook page March 5 at 2 p.m.; on exhibit at the site through April 19.

March 7-28, Saturdays. Somerset Place, Creswell. Women of Somerset Place. Tours each Saturday in March examine the remarkable women, enslaved and free, who lived and worked at Somerset Place and made possible the development, maintenance and infrastructure of the plantation. 10 a.m. Per person fee $3 and group reservations are required. The tour is limited to 14 people, is first-come-first served, and face masks are required.

March. Museum of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City. School Day: Women Breaking Barriers. Schoolchildren will discover the women in their county who broke barriers in the exhibit, “Women Breaking Barriers in Northeastern North Carolina,” in Bertie, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington counties. Contact the museum to arrange a virtual session during March.

March. Tryon Palace, New Bern. Notable Women of New Bern. Ongoing pop-up banner exhibit about accomplished women of New Bern, including noted photographer Bayard Wootten; bondswoman Amelia Green, who used her skills as a spinner to purchase her freedom and that of family members; Ella Bengel, first and only woman mayor of New Bern, and others. On display at the North Carolina History Center.

Piedmont

March 3. Museum of History, Raleigh. African American Women’s Activism in Historical Perspective. From the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, “Because of Her Story.” It highlights the range of stories in women’s history and gives voice to underrepresented and lesser known stories. This online program focuses on African American women’s activism and their contributions in a historical perspective. 7 p.m. Registration required at https://smithsonian.zoom.us/webinar/register/8016128971011/WN_UDFln1_RRdqW0MwZN7Riaw

March 10. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh. All About Hellbenders. Wildlife diversity biologist Lori Williams dives into hellbender biology and ecology including rare underwater videos of hellbender behavior, while exploring challenges the species faces. Noon. View at https://youtu.be/AJl1HAPcqws.

March 10. Museum of History, Raleigh. History at High Noon: North Carolina Women. Presenters Michele Gillespie, dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Wake Forest University; and Sally G. McMillen, professor of history emerita, Davidson College, collaborated on two volumes of “North Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times,” part of a series of essays about the lives of individual or small groups of women from southern states. Each collection profiles individuals addressing issues in the history of their respective states, the South, and the nation. Noon. Register for the virtual program at https://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/history-at-high-noon/nc-women.

March 11. Museum of Art, Raleigh. Change the Face: Finding Power in Identity. The program considers the intersection of power and identity through the NCMA contemporary art collection. Hear Mellon Foundation Assistant Curator Maya Brooks compare various representations of Black women’s strength and examine how the pieces compel us to “change the face of power,” in a virtual program. Noon. Free; registration required at https://visit.ncartmuseum.org/1807/3148.

March 13. President James K. Polk State Historic Site, Pineville. Singing to be Heard — Ella Mae Wiggins. During this online program Jason E. Luker, director of the Gaston County Museum of Art and History, will examine the difficult life of union activist Ella May Wiggins, her role in the 1929 Loray Mill textile strike, and how her words and deeds still challenge us today. Registration required at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jDpdGFQUTFaVnCmpmKNRDg.

March 17. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh. Head in the Clouds, Eyes on Space. Candice Jordan, Schiele Museum of Natural History planetarium administrator and meteorologist, combines her two passions of atmospheric sciences and astronomy to talk about weather here on earth and elsewhere in the solar system. Noon. View at https://youtu.be/D-ctF8tYI9E.

March 19. Museum of Art, Raleigh. !Women Art Revolution. Join a virtual meeting of the NCMA Film Club. This month features the documentary “!Women Art Revolution,” by Lynn Hershman Leeson, which explores the emergence of the feminist art movement in the 1960s and ’70s with guest moderator Kimberly Kay Lamm, associate professor in the Program of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, Duke University. 7 p.m. Free; registration required at https://visit.ncartmuseum.org/2084/3162.

March 24. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh. Opportunities in Natural Resources Careers: Amazing Women Doing Amazing Things. Dr. Zakiya Leggett, assistant professor, N.C. State University, shares her journey in natural resources and career options in the field. She will highlight some amazing women at work in natural resources. Join in to be inspired. Noon. View at https://youtu.be/_6JIZVEtuMQ

March 25. Museum of Art, Raleigh. Humber Lecture-A Century of Women: The NCMA’s Collection of Female Artists. The museum is working to overcome the historic underrepresentation of women artists in the art world and in its collection. Curator Jennifer Dasal shares some of her favorite works by women artists and addresses the museums efforts to expand representation of women and other diverse creators. 7 p.m. Registration required at https://visit.ncartmuseum.org/1807/3117.

March 25. Museum of History, Raleigh. History + Highballs: Women Who Brew. Presenters Michelle Miniutti, Jackie Hudspeth, and Ellen Joyner are founders of Bombshell Beer Company. Minniutti and Joyner were colleagues who visited breweries and craft beer bars. Joyner had been a home brewer for years and along with Miniutti had a strong business management background. They asked Hudspeth to join them in forming a microbrewery. Bombshell Beer Company was born when there were only three women-owned microbreweries in the U.S. It now is one of the most acclaimed in the world. Register for the virtual program at History + Highballs: Women Who Brew Tickets, Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 7:00 PM | Eventbrite.

March 31. Museum of History, Raleigh. Daughters of the Sky: The Legacy of Women Pilots in North Carolina. In World War II, some American women answered the call to service from thousands of feet above the Cape Fear region as Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs: the first women trained to fly the military’s frontline arsenal. Though many of them made the ultimate sacrifice, they did not receive recognition for their military service until nearly three decades after the war ended. Learn about these amazing women from John Moseley, with Fort Fisher State Historic Site, in the area where they trained. Register to watch online at https://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/women-pilots-in-nc.

March 31. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh. Are Toxic Cyanobacteria in the Air We Breathe? Ph.D student Haley Elizabeth Plaas, UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, discusses the harmful cyanobacterial blooms in the Chowan River/Albemarle Sound and the threat to animal and human health. Recent blooms have been linked to alarmingly high occurrences of a potent liver toxin. Noon. View at https://youtu.be/SuzUkXedbn0

March, State Library of N.C., Raleigh. Women’s History Month Lunch & Learn. Join the State Library of N.C. on Tuesdays during March for a Lunch & Learn webinar series, beginning March 9 with highlights of the “She Changed the World” oral history project, presented by historian John Horan. Noon-1 p.m. https://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/news/events/womens-history-month-lunch-learn-she-changed-world-oral-history-project.

March. Museum of History, Raleigh. You Have to Start a Thing. Ongoing exhibit on the women’s fight for the right to vote. It explores how Tar Heel women and men fought for—and against—woman suffrage in the decades leading up to 1920. It also chronicles the ongoing struggle to ensure voting rights for North Carolinians of color and the slow entry of women into positions of political power in our state through life sized videos, words from speeches, articles, letters and propaganda. https://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/exhibits/you-have-start-thing.

March. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Raleigh. She Changed the World. Ongoing online exhibit with resources. Initiative launched by NCDNCR in observance of the centennial of women getting the vote in 1920. In addition to an informative website, a toolkit, educational activity guide and speaker’s bureau are available to groups. https://www.ncdcr.gov/about/featured-programs/she-changed-world-north-carolina-women-breaking-barriers.

March. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh. Beyond Curie. Too often, Marie Curie, the Polish/French scientist who did pioneering research on radioactivity, is the only woman in science that we know by name. The truth is there are many female scientists, mathematicians, and engineers who have made incredible advances in their fields that were largely unrecognized. “Beyond Curie” is an ongoing celebration of 40 of these inspiring women. Each of these female scientists has surmounted incredible odds in the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and impact. Photos and panels exhibit.

March. Reed Gold Mine, Midland. She Changed the World – Health Exhibit. Created by North Carolina State Historic Sites, the exhibit explores issues of women’s health and wellness, including birth, pregnancy, and gender identity, and how the discussion and handling of these issues have evolved through North Carolina’s history. It illustrates and contextualizes the universal and deeply personal topic of women’s health. It explores women’s agency for their health and well-being, as well as how women modified and altered traditional gender roles to function within an often-patriarchal society. Content Advisory: This exhibit contains images and/or language describing slavery, pregnancy, birth, and sexual violence.

March TBD. Museum of the Cape Fear, Fayetteville. Hoopskirts and Gunpowder examines roles of women at work on the home front as men were fighting the war. The online program will describe what women did in the arsenals, the jobs women performed in the Civil War, and comparisons between the freedoms and dangers arsenal workers had with the continued responsibility of domestic life. Viewers will be able to ask questions online during the event. The one-of-a-kind show is by Lee Ann Rose, of Williamsburg, Va. For details and to register visit the website https://museumofthecapefear.ncdcr.gov.

West

March. Mountain Gateway Museum, Old Fort. Uncovered: Airing the Stories of Heirloom Bedcoverings. The ongoing exhibit features quilts, coverlets and bedspreads made by western North Carolina women for their families within the past two centuries. The fabrics, patterns, and needlework offer hints about their makers, the times and communities where they were made.

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